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Outpouring of Support Continues for 92 Court Street Fire Victims

PLATTSBURGH, NY __ Students affected by the devastating fire that destroyed the two-story apartment complex at 92 Court Street in Plattsburgh early Saturday morning have received an outpouring of support from individuals on and off campus.

State University of New York College at Plattsburgh President John Ettling said that quick response and action by the SUNY Plattsburgh and Clinton Community College students, city firemen and the officers of the Plattsburgh City Police and University Police probably saved many of the students' lives.

"While no one was injured in the blaze, the students lost practically everything they had except for items they had left in their vehicles nearby," said Ettling. "Many of them were able to get out of the complex with only the clothes they had on."

Ettling said that the college is assisting the students.

On Saturday morning, SUNY Plattsburgh offered immediate shelter to the displaced students in on-campus guest rooms.

Bryan Hartman, director of residence life, said to date, 18 SUNY Plattsburgh and 3 Clinton Community College students are utilizing the guest rooms while they decide where they plan to live for the rest of the semester. They have also been provided with complimentary meal plans.

The Plattsburgh College Foundation will provide funding to the College Store for replacement of all books destroyed in the fire and up to $50 in academic supplies for each of the students. SUNY Plattsburgh will also loan the students computers for the remainder of the semester.

Project HELP, the campus' student volunteer program, will be coordinating fund drives on behalf of the students. All proceeds from the drives will be donated to the Red Cross for dispersal to the students.

Project HELP will also be collecting clothing and household items on behalf of the students.  Any remaining items would then be donated to other organizations. To make a contribution, contact Project HELP at 564-4830 or 564-3648.

The American Red Cross is also providing vouchers for clothing and other personal items while the Salvation Army is providing students with clothing or household items from its Thrift Store in Plattsburgh.

The College's Housing Office also keeps a register of off-campus apartments. In addition to that log, which is available to the students, the Housing Office is also creating a listing of calls from various other community individuals with apartments and rooms available.

Ettling said that college officials would continue to assess the needs of the students during this difficult time and he was pleased with the assistance from on and off campus.

"I'm very pleased with the outpouring of support for the students from the campus community and residents of the City of Plattsburgh," said Ettling. "It is reassuring to know that people are ready to help without even being asked, particularly in times of need."

Individuals wanting to make a contribution on behalf of the displaced students, can contact Project HELP at 564-4830 or 564-3648 or send checks made out to the American Red Cross care of: Project HELP, Center for Service Learning and Volunteerism, SUNY Plattsburgh, 101 Broad Street, Plattsburgh, NY 12901.

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